Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Comment on 'Miranda Kaufmann: John Blanke takes his rightful place in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography!'

(Oxford Dictionary of National Biography)

[October 2, 2014]

Amy Edmonds forwarded this post from the blog of 
Miranda Kaufmann, who was already a major source 
of the John Blanke page at AfriClassical.com, and 
whose latest information has been added to the 
website as well:
Miranda Kaufmann:

I'm delighted to report that John Blanke, the African 
trumpeter at the Tudor court, has now taken his 
rightful place in the Oxford Dictionary of National 
Biography! He is one of 119 new entries this 

As ODNB editor Henry Summerson writes on the 
OUP blog, Blanke's "fanfares enlivened the early 
Tudor court and [his] portrait image is the only 
 identifiable likeness of a black person in sixteenth-
century British art." 

When I wrote letters to nine historical
figures for the Influential Black Londoners 
exhibition at Sutton House, Hackney for the
National Trust last year, Blanke was the only one
who didn't have an entry. Now that omission has
been rectified. I was delighted to be able to
write about this fascinating individual for a
reference work that I find so useful in my

Comments by email:

1) You're welcome.  He is a fascinating figure, and 
when I've seen images of black performers in 
early iconography I always assume they're just 
anonymous representations of a type (as with 
the white performers).  As an early music 
specialist I'm delighted to know that some 
instrumentalists achieved prominence. -Amy  
[Amy Edmonds]  October 2, 2014

2) Hello Bill, The information regarding John 
Blanke has become one of my favorites among the 
material you have sent. Kudos to Miranda Kaufmann 
for her hard work.  I had no idea such detailed
information was available regarding musicians 
during that time period.  The material is fascinating.  
Wouldn't it be an experience to see the 60 foot 
long Westminster Tournament Roll of 1511!  Lyn
[Lyn Brown]  October 7, 2014

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